Veronica tells us about her passion for artistic inspirations, achievements, and love for Boston!
Where are you from? What brought you to Boston?
I am originally from Windsor, Connecticut. I have always been drawn to Boston, and my earliest memory was visiting the city in middle school for a day trip. Of course we did the touristy activities like walking the freedom trail, hanging out in the Common, etc. but even then I was fascinated with the beauty of the city- the architecture, the diversity- it really is such a neat little place! Throughout college, I visited my best friend who went to school here in Boston, and post-college I came about once or twice a month to visit. I’ve always wanted to live here and finally jumped on the opportunity to a few years ago through a job. Despite the crazy winters, I can’t get enough of Boston and all it has to offer.
How did you get into makeup? Is there anything in particular that drew you towards weddings?
Thanks to my mother, I’m a girly-girl. She is the epitome of Mexican-glam and never leaves the house without makeup on. She hates being in the sun because it’s bad for her skin and follows a strict skin ritual both morning and night.
I grew up watching my mother meticulously apply makeup every morning. I used to accompany her to cosmetic counters in the mall and listen to conversations about skin care, tips and tricks. When I was ”old enough” to wear makeup, the first thing she did was bring me to the Clinique counter to invest in products that would be appropriate. From there, I grew in love with makeup, and read all I could on makeup application, used my babysitting money to subscribe to Allure Magazine, and began experimenting on myself and on friends. Going to an all-women’s college had many advantages, one of them always having someone to always do makeup on. I was the go-to makeup girl for fraternity formals, athletic banquets and even going out at night.
In 2010, a good friend approached me and asked me to be a “bride” for her portfolio- she was launching a freelance makeup artist business in Albany and hooked up with a photographer to begin building her business. She noticed how much I knew about makeup during the shoot and within a week, asked if I wanted to assist her with weddings/bridal parties. I learned so much that first bridal season and soon enough, she was referring weddings to me. At that time, my friends were also getting married, so that kept me very busy my first year and also allowed me to meet many photographers and build up my portfolio. I also began assisting makeup artist Amanda Thesen in New York City, who took me under her wing and taught me so much about running a business, best practices and best products.
4 years later, I am still busy with weddings all over New England, and love every minute of it!
I love working on weddings, primarily because it’s such a happy day. Sure, it can be stressful, but you are taking the work out of the brides’ hands and ensuring that she is 100% relaxed and satisfied. People often ask if I deal with “bridezillas” and honestly, I don’t! You build a relationship with these brides, who want to invest in looking their best on their big day and trust you in doing so. I ensure that we achieve their desired look and encourage any feedback from bridal trials (when we “test” a look)- be it good or bad. I am constantly improving and learning and just want to do the best I can with each and every bride.
Who/what are some of your artistic inspirations?
Besides my personal mentors Erin Marzilli and Amanda Thesen, I’ve always loved Pat Mcgrath and her ability to go from making models look like they have flawless skin and “barely there” makeup, to avant garde and artistic. She has really set the bar for many makeup artists in the industry. I also love Lisa Eldridge, who not only is an amazing makeup artist, but has a killer YouTube channel that covers EVERYTHING makeup. Her videos are a go-to for makeup artists everywhere. I follow many professional makeup artists on Instagram and Twitter.
What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was being able to work on UCONN Women’s Head Basketball Coach Geno Auriema and wife Kathy for a holiday edition of the Hartford Courant Magazine. Growing up in Connecticut, you followed those UCONN ladies and knew they were powerhouses. Geno was a wizard who kept helping them win title after title. I was a bit starstruck, but he and his wife were so nice and very grateful (and thanks for their numerous trips to Italy, they both had great skin!). That was also the first time landing the cover of a magazine, which was exhilarating to see my work!
Your website says you’re in an a capella group! How did you get involved? How long have you been singing?
I am in an all-women’s accappella barbershop group- Millennium Magic, which is part of Sweet Adeline’s International, an organization of women singers that has groups all over the world. I have always loved singing, and grew up doing musical theater and choirs (or forcing my family to listen to me sing at family gatherings). In college, I fell in love with acappella when I joined the all-women’s group and eventually became the group’s co-director my senior year. It was hard for my friends to understand the fascination (this was pre- Pitch Perfect), but the ability to create so many sounds without instrumentation was fascinating to me. We covered everything from classics (such as Santa Baby) to modern (Use Somebody by Kings of Leon). We were pretty good and even opened up for Rockappella, which was a dream come true!
After graduation, I missed not only singing, but being in an accapella group and coincidentally, when I was doing PR for a client’s holiday party, there was a female quartet performing. I was amazed and dashed to them the first moment I could and asked how I could become a barbershop singer. They informed me they were part of a larger group and invited me to attend their next rehearsal. I auditioned and made it in as a member of the Bass section (yes, I sing THAT low). Our group consists of about 20 women from all age groups, backgrounds, etc. and we are actually going to participate in the Sweet Adeline’s International Contest at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this upcoming October! The judging system is pretty intense, so we’ve been working our tails off to get ready. We scored 3rd overall last April in our region, and even though we are small (one of the smallest in our region), we are a mighty force!
What are some of your other hobbies?
I love dogs- I volunteer at a shelter in Boston walking dogs on Sundays. I figured that the big man would rather want me giving back on Sundays, versus going to church for 45 minutes and dozing off. Walking and hanging out with dogs not only fulfills my canine fix, but is so therapeutic. They just want love and attention, and no matter who you are or how bad your day was, YOU are the best thing that happened to them. Sure, its hard to walk out of the shelter empty handed, but when you see those “success stories” and photos of them with their new families, it is so rewarding. It doesn’t get any better than that!
I also love going out with my friends here- not necessarily drinking, but just exploring the city. I recently went to Havana Night Club and had a blast! Maybe my next hobby will be taking up salsa…
Check out her cool website!